Underactuated cable-driven robotic/prosthetic hands: design issues

Authors: Annick Mottard, Laval, Thierry Laliberté, Laval, Clément Gosselin

This paper discusses several design issues pertaining to the design of anthropomorphic underactuated robotic or prosthetic hands. The design of the underactuation mechanism that drives the fingers is first addressed and a double-stage floating see-saw type mechanism is proposed with a lever arm that amplifies the input force. Then, the design of the underactuated fingers is discussed and a novel rotational sliding joint is proposed. The geometric and mechanical design of a thumb mechanism is also presented that allows the reconfiguration of the thumb in the three most favorable poses. Finally, a prototype is presented that implements the design choices discussed in the paper and its effectiveness is qualitatively discussed based on a series of experiments.